The Club’s soon-to-open Nihonbashi facility promises to be a welcoming space of exquisite interior design.
Whenever I see the alcove of a tastefully built Japanese room,” writes novelist Junichiro Tanizaki in In Praise of Shadows, his landmark treatise on Japanese aesthetics, “I marvel at our comprehension of the secrets of shadows, our sensitive use of shadow and light.”
Though Tanizaki preferred the pre-lightbulb age, he might just reconsider were he to step foot into the Club’s Nihonbashi satellite facility next year.
“I am constantly exploring the marriage between nature, technology, function and community,” says Satoshi Uchihara, president of Uchihara Creative Lighting Design and the creative force behind the Nihonbashi Club’s dynamic, time-sensitive lighting system. “[I want to push] the limits of ineffable expression, which involves designing what is seen and unseen and what is perceived but cannot always be described with words.”
How do you design the ineffable? With an incredible attention to detail.
Throughout the wood-ceilinged restaurant, bar and lounge spaces, all indirect overhead and detail lighting is capped at 2,700 Kelvin, or slightly less intense than a soft incandescent bulb (sunlight is between 5,000 and 6,000 Kelvin). For added touches, the bar and each dining table are attuned to the luminosity of a warm candle to ensure a snug environment.
In addition, the lights are programmed to wax during the daytime to complement the light outside the floor-to-ceiling windows before waning at night for the optimal atmosphere.
“Human psychology and physiology have a very close relationship with the sun,” Uchihara says of the concept behind his design. “By incorporating this mechanism of nature, the space’s design of light will evolve more comfortably.”
Uchihara’s lighting scheme is far from the only way the Nihonbashi Club will craft the perfect atmosphere for its adult clientele each weekday. Even the furniture (most of which is custom-made) in the lounge and restaurant was selected with an eye toward style, comfort and adaptability.
“We will have things that exist nowhere else,” says Ginger Griggs, chair of the TAC Nihonbashi Task Force. “We’ve really tried to be holistic in every decision.”
That commitment to aesthetic excellence will be evident everywhere Members look once the doors of the Club in Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower open in the spring. The corridor between the main entrance and the bar and lounge will be decked with curated pieces of (meticulously lit) art, while the subtle river motif of the carpeting throughout the Club draws on Nihonbashi’s history as a coastal hub of commerce.
“Complementing the warmth of the natural wood of the walls and vaulted ceiling, the carpet colors change from blues and grays in the main part of the Club to the tans and browns of a riverbank in the VIP room,” explains Griggs.
All these interior elements, she notes, combine for an unmistakable effect.
“But it’s not just about elegance,” she says. “It’s also about comfort and creating an engaging social environment.”